an outbreak of illness that spreads rapidly and impacts many people on the similar time : an outbreak of epidemic illness an outbreak or product of sudden speedy unfold, development, or growth
The opioid epidemic is one which has influence numerous Individuals. Information from 2019 reveals that there have been over 15,500 deaths in 2019 on account of opioids. Many epidemics are contagious in nature in that they unfold from one individual to a different. May any such contagious illness mannequin be utilized to the opioid epidemic as properly?
In accordance with an NBER paper by Adamopoulou et al. (2024) the reply is ‘sure’. When an individual has a buddy that makes use of opioids, that particular person is more likely to make use of opioids.
Utilizing knowledge from the Nationwide Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Well being (Add Well being), adults aged 25-34 and their highschool greatest associates are targeted on. An instrumental variable approach is employed to estimate peer results in opioid misuse. Extreme accidents within the earlier yr are used as an instrument for opioid misuse with a purpose to estimate the causal influence of somebody misusing opioids on the likelihood that their greatest associates additionally misuse. The estimated peer results are important: Having a greatest buddy with a reported severe damage within the earlier yr will increase the likelihood of personal opioid misuse by round 7 proportion factors in a inhabitants the place 17 p.c ever misuses opioids. The impact is pushed by people with no school diploma and those that dwell in the identical county as their greatest associates.
The complete working paper is right here. Hat tip to Marginal Revolution.